(I can't rotate it. I tried. I'm sorry.)
On February 1st, I begin participation in something I have participated in before, a very long time ago. Back in 2003 I wanted something fun and motivating to get exercising again. I can't remember where I stumbled across the event, but I was struck by the inventive idea of involving the whole world in your fundraiser.
You can read about their goals and history here, but simply put, from February 1st to March 31st you commit to walking 1,049 minutes. You log your time every day that you walk to meet the goal. I always liked the timing of it because right when winter starts to make you feel restless and anxious, you have something to focus on that is positive...in a sense, you walk right out of winter. Or almost out of winter, given winter's tendency to linger in these parts like the last guy to leave a party. No one is going to give you their number, winter. Go home already.
Because I can never leave well enough alone I decided to make it a little interesting. In addition to the walking, which I am defining as 'joyful movement' and which may also include some DVD exercise and housecleaning, I am doing two other things.
One: For the two months of the Iditawalk I am giving up coffee. This has actually already started, since it made sense to stop when I ran out of ground beans and creamer. I cleaned and put away my machine today, but I actually haven't had coffee for about three days. I noticed my intake creeping up and up and it was going from pleasant morning beverage to three times a day drug habit. So I'm pausing to get some clarity on that. I am still allowing tea, since I don't find myself 'needing' tea, but my caffeine intake is drastically reduced. This is less of a thing than I expected it to be. The coffee 'problem' was compounded when I discovered the perfect combination of no calorie sweeteners that made my coffee taste exactly like it used to when I would put sugar in it. So much so that some of my old sugar-addicted wiring started sparking again. I haven't had any real sugar, but my lizard brain sure seemed to think that the 'good old days' had returned and this is no bueno. At a certain point in breaking a hard habit, you realize that keeping it broken has to be a priority. So we'll see. I'm thinking it is just a matter of drinking it without sweetener. Which is completely doable.
Two: While I have increased my vegetable intake, I want to increase it even more, trying new things, trying new ways of preparing familiar things, to give vegetables center stage in food preparation. I'm already pretty much doing this but I want to do it even more. Mostly because vegetables are awesome.
So the Iditawalk, for me this year, is going to be about celebratory movement, cleaning out my closets (literally and figuratively), enjoying new tastes, and doing the heart and soul work that needs done for my ongoing wellness. I expect to walk into a glorious spring with all the hope that is emerging in full bloom.
My reading list for the next few months is also aimed at doing the 'soul work'. I'm interested in continuing to educate myself and embrace truth that gives life! I've been listening to a lot of people whose stories are full of encouragement and I realize that good stewardship of the body I've been given is a labor of love and joy, not obligation and drudgery. Here are the titles I have in my 'virtual stack'.
- Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst (this is actually the subject of an ongoing small group study)
- Wheat Belly/Wheat Belly Cookbook by Dr. William Davis (I have read both but still refer back to the information in both, as well as the recipes, which are outstanding. This is the book that started it all for me.
- Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease by Dr. Robert H. Lustig (Dr Lustig has a talk on YouTube about sugar. It is very much worth your time.)
- The Gabriel Method by Jon Gabriel (working on your head, not just your body)
- Why We Get Fat..and What To Do About It by Gary Taubes
- Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism by Maria Emmerich
As I said before, I started to get traction on this journey when I chucked out everything I was ever taught about what constitutes healthy food. Since I started I've learned a lot, improved a lot, and found a lot of encouragement and hope from various sources. I am on the road, but there are miles to go. I'm just much more certain that they will be miles of celebration and joy.
Registration for the Iditawalk is still open if you are interested in joining me! In the meantime, here's a little bit of encouragement. As I've said before and will continue to say....
Change is possible.